Hornet notebook: Black tightens grip on DSU quarterback job

Keenan Black

DOVER — For the first time all season, a Delaware State quarterback played a full game last Saturday.

It’s likely to continue that way.

Junior Keenan Black has taken control of the DSU quarterback battle. He is expected to start once again when the Hornets (0-4) play their home opener this Saturday against North Carolina A&T (4-1).

Black was rotating with sophomore Jack McDaniels.

McDaniels did get the start in the first game of the season but Black was the only quarterback to appear in DSU’s loss at Norfolk State this week.

“It’s his job to lose going forward,” said DSU coach Rod Milstead of Black.

Black was actually supposed to be the No. 1 quarterback before the third week of the season.

After both quarterbacks played in Weeks One and Two, Black earned the nod for the Western Michigan game. He was scheduled to play the entire game but was knocked out after only three pass attempts due to an injury.

Black did not return against Western Michigan, a 66-0 defeat. Thanks to an extra week to heal after the Hornets’ bye week, he was able to start the MEAC opener.

Milstead said Black’s ability to make plays with his feet is what gave him the edge.

“Keenan is able to do some things athletically that we like,” Milstead said. “That’s not a knock or anything on Jack, but Keenan’s athleticism has stood out. It gives us a better chance to be successful because of our young offensive line.”

Black completed 17-of-29 passes for 247 yards against Norfolk State. He had two touchdowns, both to sophomore wide receiver Trey Gross, and threw one interception.

Black did start the last game the Hornets won, in the 2017 home finale against Morgan State.

Another tough one

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Hornets.

They’ve already played two FBS teams and now they have to play against a top-15 FCS opponent. North Carolina A&T won the MEAC championship a season ago and enters this contest at 4-1.

North Carolina A&T already has a win over a team from the FBS. It knocked off East Carolina in the second week.

The Aggies are ranked 11th in both FCS polls.

But they aren’t taking the winless Hornets lightly.

“They’re not a bad football team,” said North Carolina A&T coach Sam Washington at his weekly press conference. “They’re well-coached. Schematically, they know exactly what they’re doing. However they don’t have the athletes to do some of the things they’re trying to do and I think that’s what we must take advantage of. When it comes down to player against player, we should be OK.”

Kick return success

Two of Delaware State’s four touchdowns in the 54-28 loss to Norfolk State came on kickoff returns.

It marked the first time in school history the Hornets returned two kicks for touchdowns in the same game. The kickoff returns came on back-to-back kickoffs.

Kwannah Kollie and Brycen Alleyne had a touchdown apiece. Kollie’s was from 93 yards out while Alleyne’ was from 95.

It was the second kickoff return touchdown of Alleyne’s career. He finished the day with 129 kickoff return yards and 220 all-purpose yards.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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